With the NBA season heading down the home stretch, teams at the top of each conference are gearing up for the playoffs. The Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors remain heavy favorites in their respective conferences, so teams must craft their rosters with beating them in mind.
This list examines key factors for the top four teams in each conference — factors which could determine success or failure against the likes of LeBron James or Kevin Durant. A guard in Boston or a forward in Utah could be what puts their respective teams over the edge.
As for Cleveland and Golden State themselves, we’ll look at the factors which will have the biggest impact throughout the postseason. For example, a healthy Kevin Love could be the difference for the Cavs to make it back to the Finals for a third straight year.
Here are the biggest X-factors for each NBA title contender.